In the end we went to Blois on Thursday - we didn't get out until lunchtime so didn't really have time to visit two places. Beautiful place. We'd been to Blois before, years ago, but only on a fleeting visit. This time we had a good look around and it was a lovely little place. We found a beautiful rose garden, perched on the hill overlooking the river, by the Hotel de Ville. By the time we left, however, not only was it quite late but the weather was starting to close in. We got back to Centerparcs in the rain and settled in for the night.
I should add that Alice, having met and played with some English girls in the morning, was very resentful of being dragged away from this, and consequently seemed to be on a mission for the rest of the day to ruin it for us. It is ironic that whereas last year we thought this was the perfect holiday, I am now starting to think that I am not prepared to have Alice on holiday with us again. She is just so disruptive it is hard to relax.
Friday - gosh, we've been here for a third of the break already - the sun was shining and it was quite warm as we arose, late, at 10am. Out for a swim for a couple of hours, but we needed to go out. Thursday night we noticed Alice had come out in blotches on her tummy - the last time we saw this was attributed to nits (never too far away from Alice's school!). She popped an anti-hystermine tablet to get rid of the rash, but we still needed to go to a pharmacy to get some treatment. So we headed out to Orleans. We found the pharmacy and the obligatory supermarket to replenish supplies, but also found a nice large Decathlon, where we purchased a new bicycle helmet and lock for Alice. Since she has no stabilizers she will be riding that much faster now, and her own lock gives her that little bit more freedom to go places.
Alice has been on a budget of €40 pocket money for the holiday, and this has now been spent on a myriad of tat. Next week there will be a lot of saying "No" I dare say.
Getting up at 10am is, for me, one of the highlights of the annual holiday. The ability to wake up at 7am, think "sod it", and turn over and lie in for another couple of hours. We're currently sleeping around 12 hours per day, which is unheard of at home. Small things...
Anyway, back from Orleans yesterday we went to the Experience Factory and had an ice cream. Alice played on the climbing frame, and Jacqueline and I had a "sporty" challenge - well, a game of pool and a game of air hockey! Of course I won easily, although for some reason Jacqueline said I was cheating. Can't think why...
Back to the cottage we started watching a film on the computer but again were too tired to see it through.
Just to prove that we're not in complete holiday mode, I have been periodically watching CNN and we're seeing more bad news from Iraq. Stories of US soldiers involved in a massacre of Iraqui civilians. Can it really be doubted? Can we really say we are surprised? And the US and UK are now touting for support for action against Iran too. Depressing.
On a final note, I finished The Da Vinci Code to other night, in the end a very good read. As I said earlier, would be good to see how much of it is factual. Anyway, I am now reading about the General Strike, which is totally factual, and which has already thrown up some surprises. I had no idea of the rioting that took place in the years immediately preceding the strike - in Liverpool even the Police rioted and in Glasgow when a riot took place the government bussed in soldiers from England to restore order, because they could not be sure that if they used the local Black Watch garrison, the troops wouldn't mutiny. Plus an account of the "emergency legislation" rushed in following the Bolshevik revolution, aimed at repressing civil liberties, which we can easily identify with in this post-9/11 world. Fascinating stuff, our true history.